The South African variant of COVID-19, alleged to be more transmissible than any other mutation of the virus so far, has infected a ‘small number of individuals’ in the UK – and it’s believed that there are more people now infected with this strain than the only other two cases officially announced in December.

South African variant ‘taking root’ in the UK

Jeremy Hunt is the former British health secretary. He said earlier this week that the South African variant is now ‘taking root’ inside the country, after cases were detected in London and the North West of England respectively.

There are fears that this version of coronavirus is vaccine-resistant – although both Pfizer and the scientific community have played down this threat in recent weeks.

Hunt, who now chairs the House of Commons Health Committee, also believes that the NHS can just about withstand the onslaught of new cases in Blighty – but the SA mutation ‘will ensure that the scramble for capacity goes down to the wire’.

“There is the danger of a large number of additional, avoidable deaths, because of this horrible new strain. And, indeed, the strain from South Africa, which seems also to be taking root a little bit in the UK. I think the NHS will in the end find intensive care, critical care, beds for all those who need it. But it is on an absolute knife-edge.”

Jeremy Hunt

COVID-19: SA strain detected in Germany

Elsewhere, Germany became the latest country to confirm the appearance of the South African variant of COVID-19 on Wednesday. A traveller who returned from a long stay in Mzansi went home to the province of Baden-Wuerttemberg, and following a second set of tests, the mutation was picked up by regional health authorities:

“After their arrival (on December 13), the family entered the required quarantine and got tested five days later. Those tests were negative. The following week, the first members of the family developed mild symptoms of illness. Since then, six coronavirus cases have been recorded from three households – some of which we believe is the South African variant.”

Baden-Wuerttemberg Local Government

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Presh JM Reporter

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